Pan-African financial services group, United Bank for Africa Plc, has announced its audited 2015 half year financial results.
The results showed strong growth in earnings and profits, as the Bank continued to benefit from its determination to provide value to its large customer base in Nigeria, its increasingly important pan African network, now contributing over 23% of profit after tax and its prudent management of costs and risk. In a time of increased economic challenge, the Bank has continued to extend loans to Nigeria and to support domestic Nigerian businesses.
In line with best practice in corporate governance, UBA has elected to have its half year results audited, before its release to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday.
UBA’s earnings grew strongly by 21% to N166.9 billion during the period, compared to N138.2 billion in the same period of June 2014. The Bank’s profit before tax (PBT) also rose 35.1% to N39.0 billion, while profit after tax (PAT) was up a significant 40% to N32 billion within the same period. As a reward to shareholders, the Bank has announced the payment of an interim dividend of 20 kobo per share.
Speaking on the results, Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director/CEO said, “In spite of a challenging operating environment, our business strategy has proved to be resilient, balancing prudence, with an ability to significantly grow bottom line and continue to focus on operating effectiveness. We look forward to continuing to support our customers and working with them to achieve financial success for them and the wider Nigerian and African economies”.
Further analysis of the UBA 2015 half year results showed significant improvement in operational efficiencies. The Bank’s net operating income rose 21% to N108.7 billion in June 2015, compared to N90 billion in the comparable period of 2014. The Bank has continued to focus on operational efficiency, with a cost to income ratio of 64%; as against 68% in the same period in 2014.
Oduoza explained, “We delivered strong growth of 21% in gross earnings and 40% in profit after tax, reflecting better extraction of value across all business segments and our ongoing process optimization. It was also satisfying to see our cost-to-income ratio decline further. We understand that many in Nigeria are facing difficult economic circumstances and we are very much shouldering our responsibility to support and grow wealth creation”.
UBA maintained a healthy loan book, a tribute to both its risk management and to the robustness of its clients’ businesses, with non-performing ratio at just 1.8% of total loans granted, one of the lowest in the banking industry.
Speaking on the performance of the bank’s African subsidiaries Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh said; “Our business in Africa (ex-Nigeria) is beginning to significantly impact our returns, contributing 23% of profit after tax, with an even stronger outlook”.
He also disclosed that recent initiatives taken by the Bank to improve operational efficiencies “are yielding positive results, thus reinforcing our optimism on the future of UBA’s African business”.
The UBA Group is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, operating in 19 African countries, as well as New York, London and Paris. The Group provides a sophisticated suite of banking services to over 8 million personnel and corporate clients across Africa, priding itself on bringing financial inclusion to the Continent and supporting Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs.